Liberty University Flight Teams

National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA)

NIFA Flight Team



The Liberty University's School of Aeronautics is a member of the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA), and our flight team has taken part in annual competitions on both regional and national levels since 2002. The team has won their regional competition (Region X) for the last thirteen years, most recently at the Region X 2017 competition hosted by Averett University.

About NIFA

NIFA Logo"The National Intercollegiate Flying Association exists as a forum for collegiate aviators to expand their studies and further their careers by participating in competitive and non-competitive events, networking with industry and contemporaries, and applying themselves to go above-and-beyond their ordinary curriculum."


  • Won the Regional (Region X) Competition for the last 13 years
  • Awarded the Loening Trophy at the National Competition May 2017
  • American Airlines Safety Award for the past two years

Past Region X Competitors

  • Averett University
  • Guilford Community and Technical College
  • Elizabeth City State University
  • Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute
  • Hampton University
  • Lenoir Community College
  • United States Naval Academy

Flight Team Advisor

Director of Flight Operations Tony Cihak serves as the LU NIFA team advisor and Katie Wagner serves as the team's head coach. Both staff members accompany the team to all competitions to provide support for flight and ground events.

Upcoming Events

NIFA National Competition 2018
April 30 - May 5, 2018
Terre Haute, IN

 Liberty Belles Flight Team

Air Race Classic (ARC)

The Air Race Classic is an all-female cross-country flight competition that tests the skills of female pilots from across the country. Each summer, 50+ participants compete in the four-day race usually comprised of a route spanning the United States.

The Liberty University School of Aeronautics’ team, the Liberty Belles, are current SOA students or instructors. They go through a rigorous selection process to be nominated as SOA’s racers. The School of Aeronautics has competed in this historic competition since 2012.


Flight Team News


February 27, 2018: Liberty University News Service

Aeronautics program recognized for national award at Virginia State Capitol




November 9, 2017: Liberty University News Service

Flight Team soars to 13th straight regional title

June 15, 2017: Liberty University News Service

Liberty Belles to champion women in aviation at annual Air Race Classic


May 19, 2017: Liberty University News Service

Liberty flight team named outstanding overall program at nationals



November 10, 2016: Liberty University News Service

Flight team extends regional title streak to 12